Doha hat-trick for China’s Xu Xin

February 24, 2014 - 9:25:18 am

The winner of the women’s singles title China’s Hu Limei (right) and runner-up Austria’s Liu Jia pose with thier trophies. Limei won 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12. CENTRE: Xu Xin.  RIGHT: Hu Limei with the trophy.


Doha: Second seed Xu Xin of China defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan in five games to win the men’s singles title at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open here yesterday.

In the final he beat Chih-Yuan, the no.6 seed 13-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5.

In the women’s singles, playing in her first ever ITTF World Tour singles final, China’s Hu Limei emerged victorious.

Occupying the no.15 seeded position in the draw, in a gruelling final that was both physically and mentally exhausting she overcame Austria’s Liu Jia the no.12 seed to secure the top prize.

Determined and resolute, Limei succeeded in six games  11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12.

In the men’s doubles, seventh seeded Korean pair of Cho Eonrae and Seo Hyundeok won the title.

At the final hurdle, they accounted for the French partnership of Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson, winning in three straight games 11-9, 11-7, 12-10.

Arguably three straight games verdict was somewhat harsh on the French pairing; they contributed to a fine contest.

They were two very similar partnerships both with a left and right hander; Emmanuel Lebesson and Seo Hyudeok being the left handers, Tristan Flore and Cho Eonrae were the right handers.

Experience suggested the balance rested with Korea; it was the first time that Tristan Flore had appeared on the concluding day of an ITTF World Tour Tournament but he was in form; one day earlier he had secured the Under 21 Men’s Singles title. 

Meanwhile, in 2011, Emmanuel Lebesson had reached the Men’s Doubles final in Slovenia with Adrien Mattenet and in Morocco with Abdel-Kader Salifou. 

On both occasions he had suffered defeat. In Slovenia he had been beaten by China’s Wang Hao and Zhang Jike; in Morocco by Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Marc Duran.

Conversely, Seo Hyundeok had four ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles to his name, Cho Eonrae had succeeded twice.

The men’s singles title match had its ups and downs, Xin won the first and second games, but Chih-Yuan bounced back to take the third one. Thereafter, Xin pressed the accelerator two win the next two and the title

Zin was happy with the outcome.

“Prior to this week, we had a lot of activities and hence I was not able to train as much. I didn’t play as well as I hoped but being in the final and winning, I feel very happy. There was of course some pressure on me, as I was the only Chinese remaining in the quarter-finals,”, said Xin. 

Furthermore, he had extra encouragement. “Coach Liu Guoliang sent me a text message, commenting that this is a test for me, to handle the situation and to win the Men’s Singles title”, Xin added.

It was the tenth time that Xin had appeared in an ITTF World Tour men’s singles final and the eighth time he had won it.

Furthermore, it was the third time he had won in Doha; in addition he succeeded in consecutive years in 2011 and 2012. It means that he is one of three players to have won the men’s singles title in Qatar since the first tournament was staged in 1994.

He now equals the record of Zoran Primorac who won in 1998, 1999 and 2001 plus that of his Shanghai compatriot, Wang Liqin; he won in 2005, retained the title in 2006 and regained the crown in 2010.

Meanwhile, for Chih-Yuan it was his 14th ITTF World Tour men’s singles final, the 11th time he finished as the silver medallist.

The Peninsula